Robert F. Reid-Pharr

Robert F. Reid-Pharr

Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Professor of African and African American Studies
Robert Reid-Pharr

Robert F. Reid-Pharr is Chair of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. 

He was previously a Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and both an Assistant and Associate Professor of English at the Johns Hopkins University. Reid-Pharr holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and an M.A. in African American Studies from Yale University as well as a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has been the Jess and Sara Cloud Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at the College of William and Mary, the Edward Said Visiting Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut, the Drue Heinz Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oxford, the Carlisle and Barbara Moore Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oregon, and the F.O. Matthiessen Visiting Professor of Gender and Sexuality at Harvard. A specialist in African American culture and a prominent scholar in the field of race and sexuality studies, he is the author of four books: Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American, Oxford University Press, 1999; Black, Gay, Man: Essays, New York University Press, 2001; Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual, New York University Press, 2007; and Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post Humanist Critique, New York University Press, 2016.  His essays have appeared in, among other places, American LiteratureAmerican Literary HistoryCallalooAfterimageSmall AxeThe Chronicle of Higher EducationWomen and PerformanceSocial TextTransitionStudies in the NovelThe African American ReviewFeminist FormationsArt in AmericaTexte Zur KunstHumanities MagazineBerlin Journal, and Radical America.  He is the editor of Transition Magazine.  He is also a member of the editorial advisory committee of the journal, Callaloo and a contributing editor of the James Baldwin Review. His research and writing have been supported by grants from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. During the 2020/2021 academic year he was the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.  During the Spring of 2021 he was the Ana-Maria Kellen Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. His writing has been honored by the Publishing Triangle and the Modern Language Association. In 2015 he was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and he is the recipient of a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.  He is currently at work on a biography of James Baldwin and he lives between Cambridge, Massachusetts and Brooklyn, New York.


Courses Taught in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

GENED 1016 Black Radicalism

WOMGEN 1206 Sex, Gender, and Afrofuturism

WOMGEN 1210QT Theories of Race and Sexuality

WOMGEN 1273 Black Masculinities

WOMGEN 1276 The Black Male Body

WOMGEN 1465 The Gender of Celebrity

WOMGEN 1430 Gender, Sexuality, and the Archive


Contact Information

Boylston Hall G25
5 Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: (617) 495-4208

Research Areas